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Projects Abroad Cambodia supports campaign for paralyzed student

Physiotherapy can drastically improve children’s quality of lifeProjects Abroad is pleased to support the "Help Chann go back to school” campaign and are happy to announce that a total of $4002 was raised through donations for this inspiring independent initiative instigated by Heather Stilwell.

Heather met Chann at a rehabilitation center in Phnom Penh where many of our physical therapy interns are placed. After hearing his story, she decided to campaign to get Chann back to school using the crowd-sourcing website Indiegogo.

Chann’s story

In 2013, Hoeun Chann was making his way home from college. Coming from rural Cambodia, Chann was privileged to be studying marketing and was entering his fourth year. He had to work part-time as a tuk-tuk driver to support his studies, but had dreams of becoming highly employable after his final year of college.  While on his way back one afternoon, he got caught up in a garment workers’ protest, a common sight on the streets of Phnom Penh, where many famous brands, including H&M and The Gap, have their factories.

Soon the military opened fire on protesters, and while fleeing the chaos, Chann, a bystander, got struck by a bullet, leaving him paralyzed and unable to finish his degree. Chann had to return to his parent’s rural farm where they could not meet his medical needs. Ultimately, he and his mother moved into the rehabilitation center where Heather met him.

Two years later

A local Cambodian is provided with physiotherapyHeather describes Chann as a fighter. Determined to complete his education, Chann began working on his recovery and rehabilitation so that one day he could go back to college in spite of the misfortune he endured. However, his family was in debt with his medical bills, and there was now no option to fund his own studies as a part-time tuk-tuk driver. Thus, Heather made the decision to use her talents to assist Chann, making a passionate plea for his future through this video, detailing his story and recovery.

The total amount needed to get Chann back to school was $4000. This would cover tuition fees and his cost of living. Many people rallied around this cause, and consequently $4002 was raised, exceeding expectations and realizing Chann’s dream of getting his degree.

We wish Chann every success in his future studies and career – we are humbled by his determination and are sure that he will achieve greatness in whatever path he decides to pursue.

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